Minister Wilson to the Secretary of State.

No. 318.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith the copy of the instructions of the British Government to its minister here1 referred to in my telegram of March 30.

This copy was handed to me in duplicate on the evening of the 29th, and at the same time Sir Arthur Hardinge informed me that he intended to leave a copy with the Belgian minister for foreign affairs not later than Tuesday, the 31st.

A concerted action under these circumstances was of course impossible, but if the department considers that there is legitimate cause for further expression of our views an independent representation can be placed in the hands of the Belgian foreign office before the closure of the discussion.

[Page 556]

The department will observe that, while the underlying note of the instructions bears upon the execution of the humanitarian prescriptions of the Berlin and Brussels acts, British commercial interests are not overlooked.

Perhaps I should call the attention of the department to a fact which is not alluded to in the instructions to Sir Arthur Hardinge, viz, that in some of the most important concessions (see annex to treaty) a majority of the stock will be held by the Belgian Government.

I regret that I am unable at this time to furnish the department with a copy of the colonial law as reported by the committee of seventeen. Official copies are yet not available, though it may be possible to obtain them this week.

I have, etc.,

Henry Lane Wilson.
  1. See British print “Africa,” No. 3, 1905, cd. 4135.